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Who Is Your Superhero?100 Yonseians' fondness for superheroes
Yoo Young-seo  |
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승인 2008.08.26  21:15:32
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SUPERHEROES ARE oftentimes based on someone’s imagination or dream about wanting to be a hero. It is common that children’s role models are superheroes. Children pretend to be superheroes and imitate their heroic actions. There are many superheroes, such as Superman, Batman, Spiderman and so on. These are the classic heroes that everyone knows. They have been appearing in comics, movies, and novels that have been revived over and over again. Also, fresh new superheroes appear in various media. These days, the contents of superhero stories represent the dark reality of life and solve problems that can’t be solved easily in the real world. Therefore, superheroes give enjoyment not only to children, but also to adults. To find out Yonseians’ thoughts about superheroes, The Yonsei Annals surveyed 100 Yonseians.

Did you believe in superheroes when you were young?





   Children are innocent; they dream of becoming excellent superheroes when they grow up. Some brave, yet naïve, children jumped from high buildings trying to fly like Superman. They soon realized their dreams were only fantasies. Even though 55 respondents admired some superheroes when they were young, only 18 out of 100 Yonseians replied that they believed that superheroes really existed.




Do you like superheroes now?

   As we see the 55 respondents who liked superheroes once, we can detect a little difference in the students’ preference for superheroes. Only 43 respondents said they still like the superheroes. 18 out of 57 respondents said they don’t like superheroes anymore because of the unrealistic superhero stories. Another 14 replied that they are fed up with the stale stories. However, the respondents who like superheroes now seem to be optimistic. 13 like superheroes because they make the impossible possible, and another 13 like them because they defeat villains to bring about a just society.

Did you like superheroes when you were young?

Yes (55)                                                                                      No (45)

Do you like superheroes now?

Yes (43)                                                                                      No (57)

Who do you think is the strongest superhero?

   Maybe you have imagined a fight between superheroes. Only one superhero exists for each story. What would happen, if all of the superheroes appeared in one movie and fought to determine who was the strongest among them? More than half of the respondents (67) chose Superman as the strongest one. Superman has many abilities so nobody can defeat him. He can even fly in space! He can turn back time, hold the earth, has e-ray vision, can burn things with his eyes, and freeze things with his breath. Aren’t these powers too much for only one superhero? This is because Superman is one of the oldest superheroes. For a long time, there were many stories about him and he was created as a perfect on based on what people wanted. 11 respondents chose Batman as the strongest one. How about heroines? There were only 3 super heroines among the other choices that students answered. Wonder Woman was the representative of super heroines, but only 2 of 100 respondents chose her as the strongest one.  Do you think she’s too pretty to save the world?



Who do you think is the strongest superhero?

      Superman (67)

      Batman (11)

      Spiderman (3)

      Wonder Woman (2)

      Hong Gil-dong (8)

      Others (9)





Who is your favorite superhero?

   A superhero rescues a beautiful woman from danger. After the rescue, they confront each other on a dark street. The superhero is hanging on a spider’s thread upside down, and the pretty girl kisses him in return for his help. It is love at first sight. Many boys and girls who have watched the movie probably have imagined the beautiful scene for themselves. Who can resist some romance? Can you guess which superhero this is? The upside down superhero is Spiderman, of course! A female respondent confessed that she likes Spiderman the most because he kissed well in the movie. Spiderman was chosen as the best superhero for Yonseians, as 29 out of 100 respondents voted for him. The result is surprising. Only 3 respondents had said Spiderman was the strongest, but he is chosen as the favorite one by the majority! The reasons for the answers were various but most of them were related with the appearance of Spiderman. Many boys said they want to be as muscular as Spiderman, and many girls said they wish to have muscular boyfriends or bodyguards like Spiderman. Batman was the second best superhero. Most of the 21 respondents said they like him because he has everything, such as financial power, good family background, and powerful fighting skills. Even though Superman was chosen as the strongest, he was the third runner-up because he his good looks. 13 respondents liked Hong Gil-dong, because he is Korea’s very own superhero. One replied that he is the only true superhero. Hong Gil-dong fought against the invisible evil like poverty and helped many poor people directly and realistically. The result shows that strength and perfection are not the biggest considerations for people to favor superheroes. If all superheroes got together in a movie, Superman would win based on his strength, but Yonseians might complain and cheer for Spiderman to win.



. Who is your favorite superhero?

      Superman (17)

      Batman (21)

      Spiderman (29)

      Wonder Woman (6)

      Hong Gil-dong (13)

      Others (14) 


What is the most important issue for superheroes to take care of?

   In a movie, a superhero always stops an enemy who tries to dominate the world. In reality, there isn’t any single villain who wants to lead the world for ill-intentioned reasons, but there are many other terrestrial problems. Wars, environmental pollution, and economic inequality are only some of the issues. If there were a superhero that had the abilities that don’t exist in reality, s/he could solve those problems. 59 of the 100 respondents replied they think the most important issue that a superhero should solve is the “threatened world peace.” Also, 22 replied that they want him/her to solve environmental problems such as global warming and destruction of the ecosystem.



. What is the most important issue for superheroes to take care of?

      World peace (59)

      Starvation (4)

      Environment (22)

      Economy (9)

      Others (6)




How about becoming a superhero yourself? What do you want to do? Most Yonseians said they would protect the world like the other superheroes do. There were some who would use the super powers to benefit Korea by attacking some other countries. Other people want to use the ability for their own benefit. There are also some answers like flying at least once, attracting the opposite sex, and passing the judicial examination. It is definitely hard for superheroes to push these kinds of individual temptations aside. They have to hide their private wishes, and try their best to rescue the world. Go, superheroes! That’s the way to go!

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